Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More on FastMatte Oil Colors

On February 5, 2012, I put up a post called Oil colors and drying time - Part 2 - Solutions in which I mentioned that Gamblin Oil Colors had a recent release of FastMatte, a quick drying oil color which has a matte finish as it is originally intended for under-paintings.  My preference is using it as the finished surface.

Some asked about the formula to create the fast drying and matte finish mixture to add to regular oil colors as mentioned in the February post.

The formula is 50% by weight of each of these: Gamblin Galkyd Gel and Gamblin Dry Pigment "Whiting". 

Also get empty paint tubes to put the mixture into as the quantity that you mix will dry rather fast in the open air.  By the next morning the mixture will be either dry or very rubbery depending upon the volume exposed.

Gamblin Galkyd Gel Link
Gamblin Artist's Colors Dry Pigment Link
To make FastMatte and the Formula more fluid for under-painting techniques, thin it with a 50/50 mixture of Gamblin Galkyd Painting Medium and Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits. Moderate use of this mixture ensures the adhesion of thinner paint applications while maintaining the matte surface quality.

In the February post I mentioned that there were more colors of FastMatte coming out later this year.  Here is the list of colors which do contain my preferred palette and  a few special colors that I just love to add. Click here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

PanPastel - A Pastel Powder

In late 2007, I came across PanPastel as a newly marketed material on the web.  The "pan" of the product is a 2.375" plastic "Petri" type dish with a cover.  It is filled with a compressed powdered pastel pigment without the binders required to make a pastel stick.
This image reminds me of my mother's rouge compact from the 1945 era.  Her face powder was also packaged like this.  Cosmetic companies today use a blend of silicone compounds as a medium for pressed powders.  There is no published information from PanPastel about their formulation of a pressing compound, not that you want to go through the problems of making your own.  

Autumn in the town park woods.  PanPastels with detail in pastel pencil.

In experimenting with PanPastels, a small scraping of the pan powder into a small mixing container, when stirred with with a small amount of denatured alcohol, will result in a smooth paste.  Adding drops of alcohol for the right consistency, it can be applied with a brush.  The alcohol evaporates quickly. Probably, the pastel pencils can now be set aside for fine details.

The best and recommended tool for applying the pastel is using the foam tipped Sofft Tools from the same company. Sofft tools are small foam sleeves which slide over plastic knives in four basic shapes.  I like to hold them as a pallet knife.  There are assorted foam blocks for filling in large areas in a jiffy.  Below is a package of the entire line of foam Sofft tools.

There are the 80 colors at this LINK.  If you are a painter and are accustomed to mixing colors you will not need 80 colors.  Like a painter's pallet, you only need your basic mass tones, a few more favorite colors, plus black and white to mix most of the colors that you need. 

When I was testing the product, I got a set of black, white and grays to play with.  I then added basic colors to work with.  I did not like screwing the caps on and off so I converted an old pastel box into a case for the individual colors with no caps.  The seal was the bubble wrap fixed to the top lid.  Later on, I added a few more colors that I just had to have.
From 02/2008.  This was a lot of work to build.

PanPastel now makes plastic trays for either 10 or 20 pans in an easier, lighter and more economical material. Covers are included. (No construction required.)

I also experimented with various types of paper.  Categorically I dislike the sandy textured papers as they chew up the foam tips.  The PanPastels themselves adhere well to smooth paper.  Strathmore Bristol Vellum is a very good choice.  I also like Canson Mi-Teintes on the smoother of the two sides.
Female Athlete. Notice highlights accentuated with an eraser.
Monochrome PanPastel on Bristol,vellum finish.  Fine details are pastel pencil.
Additional samples of my work is on exhibit at the PanPastel Gallery under portraits and landscapes, as well as samples of other artist.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Drawing Materials - Pencils 2

Pencils 2 is my way of breaking up the large body of text on Pencils 1.  Actually, I feel that this page is a change of the topic and needed its own Post.

I don't use pencils much any longer except for the crossword puzzles (HB lead) and perhaps an occasional sketch.  During the years in Architecture school and in the profession, we used soft (Berol Draughting 314) for sketches, mechanical pencils for drafting (4H, 2H and HB) with T-Square and triangle, and Prismacolor pencils and sticks for color on drawings.

Figure sketch with Prismacolor Stick
I did sketches in Prismacolor sticks for a while but found them very hard and waxy in consistency.  It was not possible to blend with my finger alone.

For technical  drawings, if you colored in a pair of lines making a wall thickness on the back of the drawing sheet, especially with orange Prismacolor color, and blended it with a tiny drop of lighter fluid on a tissue, you would get a beautifully shaded wall on the final print (Ozalid reproduction).  Doing the shading on the back allowed for trimming areas or errors with an eraser and an erasing shield without messing up the original line work on the other side of the sheet.  Of course, hand drafting is rapidly vanishing by the replacement of CAD computer drawings.  I admit that I also got a CAD system for my architectural office in 1989.  But, I still sketch and do simple cabinet and furniture layouts by hand.